Jurors reach not Guilty verdict in the trial of Ron Jabalee Jr.
Ron Jabalee never took the stand
12:30 PM, Oct 14, 2010
3:45 PM, Oct 23, 2010
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (WXYZ) - It took only about one hour for jurors to hand down a not guilty
verdict in the trial of Ronald F. Jabalee Jr., the man who was
accused of murdering his own parents. Friday afternoon, he walked
away a free man.
He was found not guilty on both counts of murder for the deaths
of his parents Ronald and Christine Jabalee.
Family members were elated and cried tears of relief after the
verdict was read in the Macomb County courtroom.
After the not guilty verdict was read, Ronald Jabalee Jr. showed
the first signs of emotion. He did not speak on his way out of
court. His attorney, Stephen Rabaut, did speak with Action
“The bottom line is there’s no evidence whatsoever
to establish guilt of any crime,” said Rabaut.
A juror also told Action News that there was not enough evidence
to convict Ron Jabalee Jr. - "We all made a decision and we made
the right one," said one of the jurors.
The prosecution alleged Jabalee killed his parents, Ronald and
Christine Jabalee, back in October of 2006, after a feud over money
and a drug addiction. Their bodies were discovered in a gruesome
crime scene in the garage of their New Baltimore home. Jabalee Jr.
said he might have done it during a sleepwalk episode, but the jury
didn't believe that was enough to convict him of the murders. One
juror told Action News “People say a lot of things when they
are stressed and when they don't know why.”
The prosecution did not want to go on camera after the verdict
was read. However, the Assistant Prosecutor says he is
disappointed, but said he respected the jury's verdict. He said he
thought that there was sufficient evidence to send Ron Jabalee Jr.
to prison for the rest of his life.
During the course of the trial on Friday, it was a bumpy final
afternoon of arguments with the defense asking several times for a
mistrial. Each time they made the request to Judge Richard Caretti
the request was denied.
In closing arguments, the prosecution said Ron Jr.'s behavior
the day his parents were found dead point to his guilt. The fact
that Ron did not go home from work until six hours after getting
the news of Ronald and Christine Jabalee's deaths show that he
killed them, according to assistant prosecutor Steven Kaplan.
Kaplan also argued that Ron Jr. admitted he was the murderer on
several occassions during interviews with police and the FBI where
he said he might have killed his parents during a sleepwalking
The defense argued that Ron Jr. was innocent because the
prosecution could not provide a shred of physical evidence linking
Ron Jr. to the crime scene. Stephen Rabaut, Ron Jabalee Jr.'s
attorney, questioned why the prosecution could not provide any DNA
evidence connecting Ron Jr. to the scene.
Rabaut also argued that if Ron Jr. was the killer he would have
had some kind of defensive injuries sustained during the attack. An
exam by police showed he had no injuries.
In their rebuttal, closing argument the prosecution argued there
was no physical evidence because no evidence was left at the scene.
As for injuries, the prosecution said Ron Jr. attacked suddenly,
not giving Ron Sr. or Christine a chance to fight back.
Adding to the intrigue of the case, part of a message written in
blood was found at the crime scene. It's never been determined what
that message said, though police believe Christine may have written
it to identify her killer.
READ TOM WAIT'S FULL BLOG BELOW:
3:27 - NOT GUILTY VERDICTHANDED DOWN
2:10 - JURY GETTING FINAL INSTRUCTIONS
1:50 - Jabalee Family member lets out slightly audible sound
when prosecutor says Jabelee was kicked out of his house when he
was a teenager.
1:50 - Prosecutor says Jabalee is a liar. Lied about Vicodin.
Lied about where he went the day the bodies were discovered
1:45 - Prosecution talks about physical evidence - lab tests.
Says the reason why there was no physical evidence: because there
was no evidence left at the scene.
1:40 - Prosecution reiterating arguments from earlier: Ron Jr.'s
bizarre behavior after the murders, threats he made to an uncle
after uncle testified to grand jury, admissions Ron Jr. was
concerned he committed the murders while sleepwalking.
1:35 - Prosecution says the reason why Jabalee had no defensive
wounds after the murders is that he disabled his parents with a
doorstop so they had no chance of injuring him.
1:30 - Once again defense questions why Ron Jr. did not go home
right after work to check on his wife and kids. He waited six hours
after heairng that his parent's bodies were found brutally murdered
in their garage.
1:25 - Once again the defense asks for a mistrial. Jury leaves
courtroom. Once again the judge denies. This is the 4th request for
a mistrial. Defense attorney says he can't remember in his 30 years
of being an attorney having to interrupt a prosecutor's closing
1:20 - Court back in session. Judge has ruled against defesne -
12:15 - Jury leaves court room because of defense objection.
Objection is about shift of burden proof. Defense asks for a
mistrial because prosecution raised issue of why prosecution asked
jury to consider why defense did not explain the swastika.
12:10 - Prosecutor says Ron Jr. did get up in the middle of the
night and he admitted it to police
DEFENSE CLOSING ARGUMENTS:
12:05 - Defense case is over. Final arguments finished.
12:05 - Defense says there is no real evidence in this case.
Asks the jury to consider the life of 42 year-old Ron Jabalee. Asks
jury to understand the jury has no burden of proof in the case.
Asks the jury to come back with a not guilty verdict.
12:00 - Defense says there's no way that Ron left the house in
the middle of the night because they had an alarm that would have
chirped and woken up his wife and kids - the kids were having a
slumber party that night and the defense alleges someone would have
noticed him leave.
11:55 - Defense says that Ron and his dad had a good
relationship - that the prosecution is misrepresenting their
relationship. Defense says they got along, that Ron Jr. was the
11:53 - Defense talks about Roger Jabaelee, Ron Sr.'s brother,
who the defense says did not get along with Ron Sr. Defense says
Roger should have been investigated.
11:50 - Defense says more evidence should have been taken from
the scene by police - asks why the doorknobs in the house were not
checked for fingerprints. Criticizes police for assuming killer
used keypad to get inside the house.
11:45 - Defense says it is likely that more than one person
committed the murders.
11:40 - No DNA evidence at the crime scene. The defense asks
with all the blood found at the crime scene why was none of it
identified as Ron Jabalee Jr.'s blood.
11:30 - Ron Jabalee is soft spoken according to his attorney -
that's why he doesn't show emotion the same away others might when
his parents were found dead... Also, defense says the reason why
Ron says he may have committed the murder while sleepwalking is
that he takes on the stress of the family,. Defense says it doesn't
matter because Ron says repeatedly to law enforcement that even
though he wondered about a violent sleepwalking episode it never
11:25 - Defense is in closing arguments now. Defense says there
is no physical evidence, no way to find Ron Jr. guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt. Also says there was no injury to Ron Jr. after
murders. Police checked him. Defense asks - how could such a
dastardly crime be committed and the attacker have no injuries.
10:45 - recess now.
PROSECUTOR'S FINAL ARGUMENTS:
10:35 - Prosecutor just finished his closing arguments by saying
Ron Jabalee is not a bad guy but what he did was bad.
10:35 - Prosecutor talks about how Ron Jr. threatened his uncle
after he testified before the grand jury
10:30 - Prosecutor very demonstrative - walks over to defendant
several times - points at him. Mocks defendant for saying "maybe I
did it in my sleep." Says the sleepwalking is Ron Jr.'s way of
setting up an excuse.
10:20 Prosecutor showing the swastika picture again - it's a
photo of Ron Sr. with a swastika on his forehead. It was found on a
computer taken from Ron Jr.'s home. Prosecutor says Ron Jr. hated
his dad. Prosecutor says Ron jr. moved out when he was 17 because
he didn't like his dad.
10:15 - Ron Jr.'s wife just left the courtroom coughing. Not
clear if she was upset. But it was during a time when the
prosecutor was talking about Ron Jr.'s bizarre behavior... wife is
now back in courtroom
10:15 - Prosecutor says Ron Jr. stopped at one of his other
properties on the way home from work on the day his parents were
found dead to hide evidence.
10:10 - Ron Jr. didn't leave the store until 3:30 the day the
bodies are discovered... more bizarre behavior according to the
prosecutor... Says Jabalee Jr. waited for 6 hours after he was
officially told about the death of his parents to leave work and
then go home. Also Ron Jr. takes a slower route when he
10:10 - Prosecutor says Ron Jr. did not call his wife after the
murders. Wife called him later that morning and he doesn't tell her
right away that parents are dead. Prosecutor says why wouldn't you
tell your own wife that your parents have been murdered.
10:05 - Prosecutor says Ron Jr. should have showed concern that
his dad didn't show up to work the Saturday the bodies were
discovered. Ron Sr. was man of habit - organized and extremely
punctual - never late. Ron Jr. didn't check on his dad - according
to phone records - until about 20-30 mins after he was supposed to
be at work.
10:00 - Prosecutor keeps walking over to Ron Jr. and pointing at
him as he describes the crime. It's kind of uncomfortable. The
family doesn't really react... but they have looked upset a few
times when the prosecutor talks about the family.
9:55 - Prosecutor says Jabalee returned to the scene to mop up
the scene. Had to be him he says because the killer knew the home.
Killer even returned mop to its spot suggesting killer had a habit
of returning mop to its place.
9:50 - Christine sent home an employee - prosecution argues that
Ron Jr. was mad that she took control of the door that day.
Prosecutor says Ron went to house after work, got into a fight with
his parents and then attacked his father - his mother came to see
what was going on and he killed her too. As prosecutor was
exlpaining this to jury the Jabalee family members let out audible
shrugs... they seemed annoyed and upset about prosecutor's
9:45 - Ron Sr. called the bank to say he was worried about how
his son was spending money.
9:40 - Prosecutor arguing that Ron Jr. was fighting with his dad
before the murder about his Vicodin use. Thinks Ron Sr. was mad
about Ron Jr.'s Vicodin use. Maybe Ron Sr. was mad enough to
threaten to take control of the family meat business.
9:35 - Prosecutor says all evidence suggests killer knew his
victims. That the doorstop, which was allegedly used, was allegedly
known to the killer. Something only he would know about. Also
Christine Jabalee clearly knew her killer because she came into the
garage (where her body was later found) eating a cookie and wearing
slippers. If she did not know her killer prosecutor says she
wouldn't be holding a cookie... she seems relaxed when she enters
garage.... Prosecutor mocks some of the family relationships as
they were described on witness stand "leave it to beaver" family he
9:30 - Prosecutor explaining the difference between
circumstantial evidence vs. direct evidence. Says that
circumstantial evidence can be more powerful than direct
Ron Jabalee's wife Deborah took the stand in his defense
Thursday afternoon to testify that Ron was home the night the
murders were committed. Deborah Jabalee said Ron was in bed with
her when the killings occurred.
Deborah did concede that Ron has a habit of getting up in the
middle of the night for snacks and she wasn't sure if he woke up
the night Christine and Ron Sr. were stabbed to death.
Meanwhile, the judge in the Ron Jabalee murder trial has refused
a request by the defense to toss out the case.
The defense asked judge Richard Caretti for a directed verdict
after the prosecution's final witness completed his testimony
Thursday afternoon. If Judge Caretti sided with the defense on a
directed verdict it could have meant that the trial would have been
The defense argued that since the prosecution has no physical
evidence tying Jabalee to the murders the judge should render
Jabalee not guilty.
The judge refused the request based on the prosecution showing a
range of circumstantial evidence, including the fact that Ron
Jabalee told law enforcement several times that he might have
killed his parents while sleepwalking.
On Wednesday the defense asked for a mistrial after a special
agent with the FBI testified that Ron Jabalee asked for a lawyer
during an interrogation. The judge said that while that testimony
was inappropriate it was not enough to declare a mistrial.
Also in court Thursday we learned Ron Jabalee agreed and then
refused to take a polygraph in connection with the murder of his
parents. The prosecution made the revelation after the defense
cross-examined the prosecution's final witness, New Baltimore
Detective Kenneth Stevens, the lead investigator on the case.
During cross the defense asked Stevens whether Ron Jabalee was
completely compliant with law enforcement. The prosecution says he
was not, citing his refusal to submit to a polygraph and several
instances where Jabalee walked out of law enforcement
Judge Richard Caretti says the polygraph, or mention of the
test, cannot be used in court.
Thursday's session began with the prosecution saying they wanted
to remove the Jabalee brothers from their witness list. The
judge granted that request.
The prosecutor said Ryan Jabalee, Ron Jabalee Jr.'s brother, was
no longer a reliable witness because he had professed his brother's
innocence on a radio show last week. He is also now telling
detectives he remembers "nothing" about the incident.
Roger, the brother of Roger Jabalee Sr., was also deemed
unreliable by the prosecution.
The prosecution rested its case at 2:40. Next witnesses
will be for the defense.
ON THE STAND NOW THURSDAY AFTERNOON: Sgt. John
Willer, officer with New Baltimore Police Department, 21
3:30 p.m.: more testimony about phone records.
Defense is trying to establish a timeline. This is my last entry
for today -- off to get ready for Action News at 5 and 6. Watch for
a full recap and more on wxyz.com
3:05 p.m.: Defense is now calling its witnesses.
Defense is asking about phone records - who Ron Sr. spoke with in
the days leading up to his murder
Earlier today: New Baltimore Detective Kenneth Stevens-
officer in charge of the case. This is the prosecution's final
witness. Defense cross-examined him. Now the prosecution is
re-directing. Redirect ends - now re-cross begins. Re-cross
endsTestimony is complete.
2:50 p.m.: Judges DENIES request to toss out the
2:45 p.m.: Jury has left courtroom - defense is
asking judge to throw out of the case.
2:35 p.m.: re-direct ends and now re-cross
2:30 p.m.: lead detective says that just because
Jabalee showed up to interviews with police doesn't mean he was
cooperating. Specifically he walked out of meetings with police and
2:25 p.m.: On re-direct the detective says Ron
Jabalee says missing knives from kitchen "had nothing to do with
the crime." Which raises the question - how would Ron know that
unless he had something to do with the crime?
2:20p.m. Detective says they do not have any
physical evidence that the murders were committed by someone known
to the Jabalees.
2:15 p.m.: Lead detective says he believes Jabalee
left the home after killing his parents and then returned, but has
no physical evidence to back that up.
2 p.m.: Jury is back in courtroom. Defense asks
detective about a physical examination soon after the murders.
Detective says he did not conduct the investigation but that there
were no obvious injuries to Ron Jr. after the murders.,, question
about the reward money - defense is trying to establish that Ron
put hundreds of thousands of dollars into reward fund to be paid to
anyone who could help find killer or killers.
1:45 p.m.: Recess is over. Jury not in courtroom
yet. Prosecutor just said that Ron Jabalee refused to take a
polygraph after originally agreeing to do so. Questions about the
actual polygraph are not allowed in court.
11:55 a.m.: Detective concedes there is no
physical evidence that Ron Jabalee was ever at the scene of the
crime. Also that latent fingerprints were not checked.
11:50 a.m.: Under cross the the detective says he
had interviews with Ron Jabalee where Jabalee did not say he did
not commit the murder - only that he was worried that he committed
the murders while sleepwalking...
11:40 a.m.: Defense is showing phone records of
calls from Ron Jabalee from their Detroit meat business.
11:20 a.m.: A reconstruction of a doorstop being
showed to detective. This is one of the weapons supposedly used to
kill the Jabalees.
11:15 a.m.: Detective is asked about the runner in
garage - the carpet on the floor. Detective says part of the runner
was sent to lab. There was blood on these runners.
11:10 a.m.: Bloody footprint. Detective is asked
if the bloody footprint was tested. Detective says the footprint
was too common. That it could not be tested by FBI. Detective says
elder Jabalee was not wearing a pair of shoes that matched the
impression. The killer may have been wearing the shoes that left
the impression in blood.
11:05 a.m.: We are looking at message scrawled in
blood on the garage floor (no one has been able to determine what
the message said - the writing was partially mopped up, police say,
by the killer). Detective says he has had many conversations about
what the message said, but he doesn't divulge those opinions...
There's a photo of blood on a Jeep in the garage. Once again
defense is asking if the blood was tested. Detective says he
doesn't know - that defense should check the report.
11 a.m.: Blood drippings on the brick pavement
outside the home. Detective says he can't recall if certain blood
drippings were sent for testing. Defense wants to know why some of
the blood wasn't sent for testing.
10:50 a.m.: Lead detective on stand agrees with
defense attorney that there was a severe "altercation" that took
place, ending in the murders... More examination of crime scene
photos... very gruesome. First time I've seen these pics up
close... Ron and Christine Jabalee's bodies on the ground in the
garage. Evidence markers everywhere. Blood smeared all over the
10:45 a.m.: Defense is asking about lead
detective's job, his work history - where he's worked etc. -- also
what his job description is at New Baltimore Police.... Defense has
put up the crime scene pictures on a flat screen tv - the tv is
visible for the jury. Defense is asking about blood spatter and
analysis. Asking about hte blood on hands.
10:40 a.m.: Court is back in session. Defense has
begun cross-examining detective.
10:20 a.m.: lots of talk from detective about lab
tests of blood an evidence at crime scene but so far prosecution
has not divulged the results of those tests. Detective says they
found bloody footprint, fingerprint, piece of gum, message written
in blood; gum in the bloody mop bucket was also found. But none of
those lab results have been shared yet.
10:15 a.m.: Detective says partial shoe prints
found at the crime scene. We still don't know if there was a match
to Ron Jabalee's shoes - or anyone elses shoes...
10 a.m.: Court is back in session.
9:50 a.m.: Detective talks about door stop from
the garage - may have been one of the weapons used... Detective
says a portion of the garage floor was mopped up... Prosecution
showing pictures of the bloody mop bucket.
9:45 a.m.: Detective says no neighbors heard
screaming on the night of the murders... Christine Jabalee's purse
was not ransacked. House was in perfect condition. Nothing stolen.
Detective does not believe this case involved a robbery.
9:40 a.m.: Detective says knives from the kitchen
could have been used in the murders. There were two knives missing
from the kitchen knife block... Detective says it appears murders
took place shortly after the couple ate dinner based on the pizza
box found on the stove.
9:35 a.m.: Detective testifies that Ron Jabalee
threatened his uncle if he testified about the case. Detective says
that Ron Jabalee made threatening statements if police tried to
arrest him. Also says that uncle wanted police assistance to
protect him from Ron Jabalee
9:30 a.m.: Detective says Jabalee said multiple
times that he may have killed his parents while sleepwalking.
Testimony from a Special Agent with the FBI sent the Jabalee
trial into a momentary tailspin on Wednesday. While on the stand
the agent said that Ron Jabalee asked for an attorney at the end of
one of his interviews.
Judge Richard Caretti agreed with the defense that the agent
should never have made the statement in front of the jury. The
defense asked for a mistrial but Judge Caretti denied the
The judge did give special instructions to the jury to disregard
that part of the agent's testimony.
Also today in court more of the 2008 interrogation video was
played where Ron Jabalee wondered aloud to another family member
whether his brother Ryan may have had something to do with murder
of his parents. But he also said in the video he did not want to
On cross examination of a Michigan State Police detective the
defense asked whether investigators found any incriminating
evidence in Ron's home or in his vehicle. Detectives found
nothing. They also did not find any visible injuries to Ron after
There was also no evidence of a robbery at the crime scene,
although one of Ron G. Jabalee's pockets was pulled inside out. The
elder Ronald was known to carry hundreds of dollars in cash.
Full Blog from Wednesday's proceedings is below:
Proceedings are still underway - Wednesday live blog is
Testified today: Richard Osborne, Special Agent
FBI;Charlene Warner, Michigan State Police, Forensic Examiner;
FBI Special Agent Mark Robel, who investigated the murders; Howard
Silverman, a longtime friend of Ronald G. Jabalee (one of the two
victims). Earlier today: VIDEO OF 2008 RON JABALEE VIDEO
INTERROGATION CONDUCTED BY MSP DETECTIVE SGT.PATRICK YOUNG WRAPS UP - DETECTIVE WAS ON THE STAND AND
BEING CROSS-EXAMINED BY THE DEFENSE
3:30 p.m. This will be my last entry Wednesday - getting
ready for a full recap on Action News at 5!
3:30 p.m.: Judge gives special instructions to the
jury to disregard statement by FBI agent that Jabalee asked for an
attorney. Judge tells jury "this is a sacred constitutional
3:27 p.m.: Judge denies request for mistrial
3:25 p.m.: Defense asks for mistrial
3:25 p.m.: Jury leaves court room after defense
raises objection of special agent testimony. Defense upset the FBI
agent testified that Jabalee wanted to end an interview to ask for
a lawyer. Defense is angry that the jury heard this testimony,
arguing that it's a defendant's constitutional right to ask for an
attorney and that the jury should not hear that.
3:20 p.m.: Special agent testifies that Jabalee
says it was possible he killed his parents while sleepwalking,
3:15 p.m.: Another special agent with the FBI
takes the stand. Agent says Jabalee showed up to an interview
having taken at least 5 Vicodin prior to the interview. Agent says
Jabalee says his father was unhappy with his Vicodin addiction.
Says he was taking 6 to 8 pills a day.
3:10 p.m.: Defense grills MSP computer expert.
Expert says she can't determine who altered the photo of Jabalee
Sr. or when the swastika was drawn on his forehead.
2:55 p.m.: MSP computer forensic expert testifies
that pics taken from a computer contained pics of Ronald Jabalee
Sr. - one of the pics has a shot of the elder Jabalee with a
swastika on his forehead.
2:50 p.m. FBI agent ends testimony.
2:45 p.m.: FBI agent asked if Ron killed his
parents in a fit of rage and FBI agent says Ron then asked for the
interview to end and said he wanted to talk to his wife.
2:40 p.m. FBI agent takes the stand says that Ron
told him he was worried he had committed the murders while
2:40 p.m.: Mr. Silverman's testimony ends.
2:35 p.m.: Mr. Silverman testifies that Ron F.
Jabalee did not show very much emotion after his parents were found
murdered. Defense crosses saying Mr. Silverman had no context about
what Ron had been through earlier in the day.
2:25 p.m.: we're back in session with Mr.
Silverman, a friend of Ron Jabalee
2:25 p.m.: Court was back in session for a few
minutes - but the jury is out of the courtroom while lawyers feud
over the testimony of a friend of the victim Ron G. Jabalee. The
prosecution called the friend of the victim to the stand
12:45 p.m.: Jury has left courtroom for lunch
break. Proceedings to resume at 2:15 p.m.
12:35 p.m.: Cross examination ends. Re-direct of
the sgt. begins.
12:15 p.m.: Once again we are looking at photos of
the crime scene. Defense is trying to poke holes in the prosecution
theory of how the killer left the house where the murders took
place. Sgt. says under cross-exam that he doesn't know how "the bad
guy" left the home. There are 7 entrance/exit points to the
11:50 a.m.: Defense asks sgt. about examination of
Ron Jabalee after the murders - an exam for injuries was done --
nothing was found. No injuries to Ron Jabalee.
11:50 a.m.: Sgt. says on stand that Ron Jabalee's
vehicle and his home were searched for evidence back in 2006 - the
family business was also searched -- there was no criminal evidence
seized at any of those locations.
11:35 a.m.: Defense is grilling sgt. about what
kind of vehicle Ron F. Jabalee's wife drove at the time of the
murders. Defense asks sgt. to clarify some of his statements -
among them a quote from Ron Jabalee when he said: I want this case
to go away. Sgt. admits he omitted part of that statement on the
stand - where Ron Jabalee said he wanted the case to go away
because he was worried about his kids.
11:25 a.m.: Jury is back in the courtroom, cross
examination of detective begins. The defense attorney is
essentially asking Sgt. to explain his job to the jury
11:25 a.m.: Live truck technical problems - no
report at noon. We'll have something on the air at 5!
10:40 a.m.: Prosecution ends their questioning of
MSP police sgt. No bombshells here
10:30 a.m.: Detective talks about the writing in
blood on the garage floor at the crime scene. Sgt. says a slab of
the garage floor was sent to crime lab in Lansing. Prosecution
would not let him talk about results yet.
10:25 a.m.: Prosecution is showing maps to the
10:15 a.m.: Jury is back in the courtroom
10:10 a.m.: We’ve just learned recordings
were made at the funeral of the victims. The attorney’s are
fighting over whether they can be used. Lawyers are fighting over
whether the recordings should be used and whether the sgt. should
be able to assess how Ron behaved at the funeral.
10:10 a.m.: Jury has left the courtroom. Defense
is lodging many objections during Sgt.’s testimony…
they’re now speaking privately with the judge.
Sgt. says Ron says at some point around June 2009 Ron asked
whether his brother Ryan may have had something to do with the
10:05 a.m.: In at least three separate interviews
MSP sgt. claims Jabalee said he might have killed his parents.
10 a.m.: Video interrogation wraps up. MSP sgt.
who conducted interview is on the stand. Says evidence at
crime scene shows the murderer knew the home because the garage
door was shut when the murderer left.
9:45 a.m.: Ron tells sgt. that police intimidate
him... Uncle who is in the room with Ron and sgt. pleads with Ron
to “lift the cloud” and “come clean” if he
can. If there’s nothing then he needs to make it clear to
MSP says he’s not their to judge Ron. Goes on to tell Ron
“I’m not here to judge.” MSP sgt. “it will
come out, it always does. There are fears, but it’s got to be
9:40 a.m.: Sgt. says I’m not understanding
this – says he can tell Ron is under pressure. Presses Ron on
whether he had to much Vicodin the night of the murders. Just keeps
repeating the same questions. It would appear the sgt. is trying to
pry new info from Ron, but so far there’s it’s not
9:35 a.m.: Sgt. keeps going - “The truth is
the truth.” Keeps pressing on the idea that he killed his
parents during a blackout.
Ron maintains that he just went home after work the night of the
murders and fell asleep.
Sgt. tells Ron he needs to deal with his Vicodin addiction
– that it’s going to mess up his internal organs.
9:30 a.m.: Sgt. comes back in the room and raises
the intensity. Sgt. says he thinks Ron has “a monkey on his
back” and that “we need to get to the truth.”
Sgt. presses Ron about sleepwalking and why he searched the
internet about killing while sleepwalking. Tone from the sgt. is
much harsher… not as friendly as he was at the beginning of
Sgt. says he thinks something is affecting Ron – in his
daily life. Sgt.: It’s coming from somewhere. I don’t
understand it. Sgt. keeps repeating himself. Ron just says “I
don’t know what to tell you.”
Asks Ron did you dream this? And Ron says no.
9:25 a.m.: More tape of the Ron Jabalee
interrogation with MSP: Sgt. leaves the interrogation room and the
camera is still rolling as Ronald is in the interrogation room with
his uncle. It would appear Ron and his uncle don’t know
they’re still being recorded. While in the room the uncle
asks Ron about whether his brother Ryan could be involved in the
killings – Ron says he can’t point fingers.
They go on to discuss other family problems and then discuss
Ron’s Vicodin addiction. Ron says he needs Vicodin because it
gives him a happy feeling. Uncle says he has to quit.
Uncle says Ron needs to quit changing his story, that it’s
9:15 a.m.: Jury is seated. Defense is complaining
about the way the prosecution refers to the murders -- saying
prosecutor says things like "massacre" and that it's offensive to
the family in the courtroom. Prosecutor agrees to tone-down
9:10 a.m.: - we haven't started yet. I'll post the
minute the jury is seated...
Day three of the Jabalee murder trial wrapped up Tuesday
afternoon with the prosecution dropping one of the most powerful
pieces of evidence in the case so far.
Watch Tom Wait's report with excerpts of the recorded
interrogation in the video player on the left
Prosecutors played a recording of a 2008 interrogation where
Ronald F. Jabalee admits he told relatives he questioned whether it
was possible that he killed his parents during a blackout. Jabalee
also tells police on the tape that he had a Vicodin addiction.
Jabalee goes on to say on the tape that even though he made
those comments, there's no way he could have committed the brutal
Ronald G. Jabalee and his wife Christine, 58, were found
brutally murdered in their New Baltimore home back in October 2006.
Several years after the killing their son, Ronald F. Jabalee was
In the case so far the prosecution has called several witnesses,
including a neighbor and an employee of the Jabalee's family
business. A tape of the crime scene was also shown to the jury --
in the video jurors saw the gruesome crime scene and a message
scrawled in blood by one of the victims.
Below is a blog from Tuesday's proceedings:
1:05 - Court is adjourned for the day. Jury getting
Video of an MSP sgt. who questioned Ron Jabalee in
1 p.m.: Ron on his Vicodin use: I stop taking
around 5 or 6 in the evening. Gives me a happy feeling. Gets me
through a 12 hour day. My uncle gave me one and it grew from there.
Gave me 2, 3 or 4. Me asking and him (uncle) offering. Initially
got it from the doctor for pain with my shoulder.
Sgt. asks about why the blackout scenario is possible: Ron says
he’s read about cases where men have killed their wives and
didn’t remember – that they blacked out.
12:50 p.m.: Ron says he didn't go directly to the
police station after getting the news of the murders because he
needed to drop off his Vicodin. He was scared to bring the Vicodin
to the police station.
12:50 p.m.: When questioned about why he
wasn’t worried about his dad not being at work the day his
parent’s bodies were later discovered, Ron says: Maybe dad
was playing hooky – maybe that’s why he didn’t
show up. I didn’t think anything was wrong when dad
didn’t show up (for work). Called the house. Ryan (Jabalee)
started making phone calls.
12:40 p.m.: Jabalee: "This is me driving myself
crazy. There's no way I did it."
12:35 p.m.: In police video questioning Ron admits
years of Vicodin use and admits telling wife and other family
members that he raised the possibility that he blacked out and went
"berserk" and killed his parents. Ron says that even though he
raised this as a possibility at one point - he now knows that "I
didn't do it." Ron also says he said to his brother: "Is it
possible I could have done this?" Ron says he thought about
the idea that he might have committed the murders after someone
suggested the killings appeared to be a crime of passion.
12:30 p.m.: In the video the sgt. asks about drug
use initially and then questions Ron about statements he made to
family members to the affect of "what if I did it." But in response
Ron says "I know I could never have done it." Sgt. asks about
problems with Ron and his father -- asks about whether they almost
got into a fight. Ron says there was a confrontation but no
one was hurt and for the most part they got along.
12:20 p.m.: Sgt. Young – Det. Sgt. Michigan
State Police just took the stand: Was with MSP when the murders
took place. Talking about how he questioned Ron Jabalee after the
murders. Playing that video of the questioning now.
10:55 a.m.: still in recess. Stay tuned to Action
News at noon for the latest
10:40 a.m.: Still in recess
10:25 a.m.: still in recess... jurors told they
have another 10 minutes.
10:05 a.m.: 15 minute recess
10 a.m.: Neighbor testifies that he wasn't
interviewed by police until a couple of months after the Jabalee
9:50 a.m.: On cross examination neighbor tells
defense attorney that he saw other vehicles near the highway close
to the Jabalee home the same night he saw the truck in the
9:45 a.m: A former neighbor of the Jabalee's has
taken the stand. Neighbor testifies that he noticed a vehicle
coming out of driveway with lights off. Then turned it’s
lights off after it pulled out of the driveway. This happened at
1:30 a.m. October 7th - the days the bodies were discovered.
Neighbor says it was a truck that pulled out but couldn't tell who
9:40 a.m.: It would appear the prosecution is
trying to establish a time of death with their grilling of
Szyller... trying to determine when the murder occurred.
9:30 a.m.: Prosecution grilling Szyller over
whether Ron invited him inside his home on the day of the murders.
Apparently the two made a stop at the Jabalee home on the day of
the bodies were discovered. Ron did not invite Szyller inside the
house and they made a long stop at the house.
9:20 a,m.: Szyller describes Ron's demeanor the
day of the muders, saying he seemed shocked. Szyller says he was in
the car with him. Prosecution grilling him over how Ron was
behaving the day the bodies were discovered. Szyller says Ron never
asked him to establish where he was. Szyller says Ron was in shock
when he got the news his parents were dead.
9:10 a.m.: Richard Szyller, an employee of the
Jabalee family meat business, is on the stand. He's about to
testify about phone calls between he and Ron the day of the murders
and in the months after.
9:05 a.m.: Judge just entered court. Jury is also
9 a.m.: Still waiting. The Jabalee family is
seated quietly behind Ronald. So far they've supported
8:45 a.m.: Still waiting for court to start. The
defendant, Ronald F. Jabalee, is seated at the defendant's
8:30 a.m.: The courtroom is filling up as we await
today's proceedings. We're expecting testimony from Ron
Jabalee Jr.'s brother, Ryan, who will be testifying for the
prosecution. Ryan said last week in a radio interview that he
believes his brother is innocent. It will be interesting to
see how the prosecution handles his testimony -- whether they will
ask the judge to consider Ryan a hostile witness.
We’re also expecting testimony today from Richard Szyller,
who works for the Jabalee family business, RJ Meats. The
Jabalee’s neighbor, David Klatt, may also take the stand.
Court will be back in session Tuesday in the murder trial of a
man accused if killing his parents.
Today's hearing comes after Friday's session where loved ones of
murder victims, Ronald and Christine Jabalee, wiped away tears as
jurors were shown the gruesome crime scene video taken at the
Jabalee's New Baltimore home.
The video showed both inside and outside the Jabalee home,
including inside the garage where the victims were murdered. The
video showed their lifeless bodies surrounded by pools of blood. It
also showed the mysterious message scrawled in blood.
42-year-old Ronald Jabalee is accused of the gruesome murders of
his parents Ronald and Christine Jabalee on October 6, 2006.
Jurors heard from the Macomb County medical examiner who
testified that both victims had been stabbed multiple times and
both had defensive wounds.
On Thursday, Rosie Krol testified about finding the bodies.
Krol, was living with Ronald Jabalee's younger brother Ryan at the
On the day of the murder, Ryan called her to check on his
parents, because his father had failed to show up to work at the
family's store in Eastern Market.
Krol fought back tears as she answered the prosecutor's
questions. She described finding Ronald and Christine Jabalee on
the floor of their garage in New Baltimore. She said there was also
blood in their driveway.
In opening statements, Prosecutor Steven Kaplan said that
Ronald Jabalee showed no concern that morning when his father was
late because he knew that he was already dead.
Ronald Jabalee's attorney Gail Pamukov says the evidence will
show that Jabalee did not commit the crime.
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